Pacific Islands / Pacific Forum
Samoa’s Deputy Prime Minister said the Pacific trade ministers "have had some schooling and know how to read English. It is untrue that the Pacific misinterpreted the meaning (of the EC warning)."
This is the first time that members of the major business sector and representatives of private sector organisations from all 14 Pacific Forum Islands Countries will be coming together with regional ministers and senior policy officials to discuss major strategic business issues that face the region.
The EC’s Head of Delegation to the Pacific has sent to the Pacific EPA negotiating team a letter dated Friday 3 August that states Pacific Trade Ministers have misinterpreted an earlier EC communication and there is no conditionality that would reduce the EDF funds available to the Pacific if the region does not sign an EPA.
Pacific Trade Ministers have responded to a threat by the EC to cut development aid funds to the region if the Pacific does not conclude the EPA by the end of the year. In a strongly worded letter to the EC Commissioner for Development, they stated they would “not accept the EC imposing this linkage on the RIP with respect to the EPA.”
Just before the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting opened in Vanuatu on 31 July 2007, the Deputy Head of the Pacific desk in the EC’s DG Development sent the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat an email that stated the Pacific’s allocation of the European Development Fund would be cut by 48% if it does not sign up to an EPA and by 26% if a goods-only agreement is concluded.
The Pacific Forum has for the first time publicly admitted there have been problems in sealing an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.
The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) and AID/WATCH are pleased to invite you to a strategy workshop on the FTAs entitled: “To Oppose FTAs: Making People Matter”, that will take place on September 4-6, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. The Strategy Workshop on the FTAs is an open and public gathering of trade campaigners within the region specifically timed to coincide with the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Sydney.
Australia says it wants trade rights in the South Pacific equal to those being negotiated by the European Union.
Pacific Islands Countries need to develop technically sound demands in negotiating the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) says Deputy Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, Peter Forau.
With only six months left for the African, Caribbean and Pacific bloc of states to have its economic partnership agreement with the European Union negotiated, sealed and signed, the 14 Pacific members of the alliance are more worried about word usage.
A meeting in August is likely to explore the possibility of a free trade agreement between Pacific Island countries and New Zealand and Australia but rapid progress is not expected.
Australia and New Zealand will begin discussions in August to strike a free trade deal with a group of Pacific island nations.
In an recent article headlined “Economic Partnership Agreements: tackling the myths”, the European Union’s trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, sought to justify the EU’s position on agreements being negotiated with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries.
Ousted foreign affairs minister Kaliopate Tavola could be called to lead the Pacific’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks with the European Union.
Intransigence of positions and unfolding of more "red lines" by bureaucrats at the European Commission (EC) could jeopardise the region’s hopes of securing an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, outgoing chief negotiator of the Pacific, Kaliopate Tavola has warned.
Letter leaked to the Financial Times outlining the European Commission’s response to the Pacific’s proposals on their EPA, rejecting most of them.
This paper by Claire Godfrey provides a wide-ranging look at the many problems with the EPAs, and investigates how these could impact on the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries’ future development.
This short summary of issues by Barry Coates of Oaxfam New Zealand focuses on the most recent negotiating documents, particularly the draft “legal text” that was prepared by Pacific negotiators after their meeting in June 2006. It aims to provide a “non-technical” overview to inform civil society of progress in negotiations.
A case study that looks at the impacts from liberalisation of the tourism industry in Vanuatu.
Pacific Island Countries now have a draft Multilateral Fisheries Partnership Agreement (MFPA) to negotiate with the European Union (EU) as part of the region’s Economic Partnership Agreement(EPA).